Wednesday, May 6, 2009

sad sweet violent

found here

excerpt from truman capote's local color - i love the images...

An abandoned church, a For Rent sign defacing its baroque façade, towers black and broken at the corner of this lost square; sparrows nest among the stone flowers carved above its chalked up door (Kilroy was here, Seymour loves Betty, You Stink!); inside, where sunlight falls on shattered pews, all manner of stray beasts have found a home: one sees misty cats watching from its windows, hears queer animal cries, and neighborhood children, who dare each other to enter there, come forth toting bones they claim as human (yeah, they is so! I'm tellin' yuh; the guy was kilt). Definitive in its ugliness, the church for me symbolizes some elements of Brooklyn: if a similar structure were destroyed, I have the uneasy premonition that another, equally old and monstrous, would swiftly be erected, for Brooklyn, or the chain of cities so-called, has, unlike Manhattan, no interest in architectural change. Nor is it lenient toward the individual: in despair one views the quite endless stretches of look-alike bungalows, gingerbread and brownstones, the inevitable empty, ashy lot where the sad, sweet, violent children, gathering leaves and tenement-wood, make October bonfires, the sad, sweet children chasing down these glassy August streets to Kill the Kike! Kill the Wop! Kill the Dinge! - a custom of this country where the mental architecture, like houses, is changeless.

Manhattan friends, unwilling to cope with the elaborately dismal subway trip (Oh B, do come, I swear to you it takes only forty minutes, and honest you don't have to change trains but three times) say so-sorry to any invitation. For this reason I've often day-dreamed of leasing and renovating the church: who could resist visiting so curious a residence? As matters stand, I have two rooms in a brown-stone duplicated by twenty others on the square; the interior of the house is a grimy jungle of Victoriana: lily-pale, plump-faced ladies garbed in rotting Grecian veils prance tribally on wallpaper; in the hall an empty, tarnished bowl for calling cards, and a hat-tree, gnarled like a spruce glimpsed on the coast of Brittany, are elegant mementos from Brooklyn's less blighted days; the parlor bulges with dusty fringed furniture, a family history in daguerreotype parades across an old untuned piano, everywhere antimacassars are like little crocheted flags declaring a state of Respectability, and when a drought goes through this room beaded lamps tinkle Oriental tunes.

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